1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall a very positive and enjoyable experience where I gained a lot in terms of both knowledge and experience. It was a very steep learning curve with a lot of new information made harder due to the long hours ( but that was to be expected and there wasn't any pressure to stay for excessive hours).
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Nearly everyone was super friendly and made an effort to get to know me and spent a lot of time teaching me new concepts and ideas. Colleagues were appreciative of the fact that it was a brand new experience and allocated me work to try and make it as engaging as possible. Many made an effort to integrate you onto the desk with drinks and lunch runs etc.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
All my supervisors were willing to give constructive and useful feedback when asked while they they all went to great lengths to introduce me to other employees across the floor who they thought I'd enjoy speaking to and would be worthwhile to have a conversation with. Any issues I had and raised were quickly dealt with.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very mixed depending on the desk. Some line managers gave me large amounts of work that were very time consuming while others adopted a far more "laissez faire" approach where it was up to me to try and find things to do and people to speak to. Overall however I felt less busy than a typical week at university.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Obviously there is a limited amount you can do as an intern and when you're shadowing people you have no responsibility whatsoever. I think the lack of responsibility was an advantage however in the sense it gave you more freedom to do what you found interesting and ask questions and make mistakes when learning.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The training at the beginning was a very good introduction to capital markets. However the discussions and tips from employees themselves were far more useful and practical. Some managers set very detailed projects which they heavily supported me with and as a result greatly improved my excel skills and understanding of certain financial areas.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
By and large really good, however it varied from desk to desk. Nearly all were very friendly and had fun with each other, and they made an effort to include interns. At times the atmosphere was a bit tense, but that was to be expected in times when the market was stressed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well. It was clear from day one what was going to happen and what we were to expect while we were told frequently that things could change so that when they did change it was no surprise. Only negative was that some line managers had different ideas than others about hosting interns which meant the level of work on each desk varied greatly.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Throughout the internship we were frequently invited to different events ran by RBC from networking events to personal branding events designed to improve specific skills. The training at the beginning and talks from different heads felt like they wanted you to have a really solid understanding of the business and what they did.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I was offered a job a few days after the internship finished and I am already very excited to start. Speaking to previous interns who went onto the graduate programme it's a really enjoyable place to start your career and all were pleased that they'd decided to go to RBV.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Really good atmosphere with everyone helping each other out, whether with times for meetings or different functions on excel. Frequently went out for drinks in the evening and would often eat lunch with one another in the canteen. I am sure I'll keep in touch with many of them highlighting how much everyone hung out.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is obviously a very expensive place and prices for food and drinks in the City very much reflected that, the average price for a pint was around £5.50. Similarly rent was also expensive but again to be expected and there is nothing that the bank could do about that.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Many of the employees invited you to charity events that RBC were running such as five a side football tournaments or the Race for kids later in the year. The trip to the Ronald McDonald house was also a really good experience to see the work RBC was doing in the local community.